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USS Saratoga (CV-3)

Lexington-class aircraft carrier / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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USS Saratoga (CV-3) was a Lexington-class aircraft carrier built for the United States Navy during the 1920s. Originally designed as a battlecruiser, she was converted into one of the Navy's first aircraft carriers during construction to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. The ship entered service in 1928 and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet for her entire career. Saratoga and her sister ship, Lexington, were used to develop and refine carrier tactics in a series of annual exercises before World War II. On more than one occasion these exercises included successful surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She was one of three prewar US fleet aircraft carriers, along with Enterprise and Ranger, to serve throughout World War II.

Quick facts: History, United States, General characteristi...
Saratoga underway in 1942, after her lengthy refit
Flag_of_the_United_States_%281912-1959%29.svgUnited States
NamesakeBattle of Saratoga
  • 1917 (as a battlecruiser)
  • 1922 (as an aircraft carrier)
BuilderNew York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey
Laid down25 September 1920
Launched7 April 1925
Commissioned16 November 1927
Reclassified1 July 1922 to aircraft carrier
Stricken15 August 1946
IdentificationHull number: CC-3, then CV-3
  • Sara Maru
  • Sister Sara
Honors and
8 battle stars
FateSunk by atomic bomb test, 25 July 1946
General characteristics (as built)
Class and typeLexington-class aircraft carrier
Displacement36,000 long tons (37,000 t) (standard)
Length888 ft (270.7 m)
Beam106 ft (32.3 m)
Draft30 ft 5 in (9.3 m) (deep load)
Installed power
Propulsion4 shafts; 4 sets turbo-electric drive
Speed33.25 knots (61.58 km/h; 38.26 mph)
Range10,000 nmi (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement2,791 (including aviation personnel) in 1942
Aircraft carried78
Aviation facilities1 Aircraft catapult

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Saratoga was the centerpiece of the unsuccessful American effort to relieve Wake Island and was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine a few weeks later. After lengthy repairs, the ship supported forces participating in the Guadalcanal Campaign and her aircraft sank the light carrier Ryūjō during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in August 1942. She was again torpedoed the following month and returned to the Solomon Islands area after repairs were completed.

In 1943, Saratoga supported Allied forces involved in the New Georgia Campaign and invasion of Bougainville in the northern Solomon Islands and her aircraft twice attacked the Japanese base at Rabaul in November. Early in 1944, her aircraft provided air support during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands Campaign before she was transferred to the Indian Ocean for several months to support the British Eastern Fleet as it attacked targets in Java and Sumatra. After a brief refit in mid-1944, the ship became a training ship for the rest of the year.

In early 1945, Saratoga participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima as a dedicated night fighter carrier. Several days into the battle, she was badly damaged by kamikaze hits and was forced to return to the United States for repairs. While under repair, the ship, now increasingly obsolete, was permanently modified as a training carrier with some of her hangar deck converted into classrooms. Saratoga remained in this role for the rest of the war and was then used to ferry troops back to the United States after the Japanese surrender in August, as a part of Operation Magic Carpet. In mid-1946, the ship was a target for nuclear weapon tests during Operation Crossroads. She survived the first test with little damage, but was sunk by a second test.

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